Jan 2, 2013 - By Steven R. PeckFirst of the year
The staff of your daily newspaper appreciated the day off Tuesday as the new year arrived. Happy 2013.
We don't expect to close the office on a weekday again until Monday, May 27. That's Memorial Day. And we don't anticipate another holiday to interrupt our normal publication schedule until Thursday, July 4. That's Independence Day. For the record, both Martin Luther King Day and Presidents Day are work days in the newspaper office.
Volume and number
This is our first edition of 2013. We plan about 255 more this year. Why, however, if this is the year's first Ranger, have the volume and number of the edition not "turned over" to reflect the arrival of 2013?
It's because we count our newspaper year as starting on March 1, or our closest day of publication to it. That's the general anniversary of the first-ever edition of The Ranger, which is the direct business descendant of the first newspaper published in town.
So today's edition still is numbered "Volume 106 (the number of years this newspaper business has been in operation under the Ranger name and its predecessor banners) and No. 216 (the number of issues published since last March).
We won't go to Volume 107, No. 1, until Friday, March 1.
On a related note, 2013 marks the 60th anniversary of The Ranger.
They said it
For 2013, we're planning an addition to our Opinion page. Periodically through past years we've published a piece called "Quoted in the news," but this is the year we intend to make it a regular feature, running at least once a week and perhaps twice if conditions permit. As a matter of fact, its 2013 debut is on this very page.
Don't be shy
The Wyoming Legislature is tuning up for its 2013 session. Unlike last year's 20-day budget session, the 2013 Legislature is the big one -- the two-month general session in which anything and everything can be brought up for consideration -- and often is.
Wyoming has a citizen legislature, meaning our lawmakers are not full-time government employees. That's the way most of us like it, if for no other reason than it keeps the legislators closer to us. It's not unusual to meet an elected state representative or senator at the store or the football game or in the next church pew, and if they are worth their salt they will always lend an ear to a constituent with a legitimate concern voiced in a civil tone.
Please don't be hesitant to raise an issue with a lawmaker. They are busy people, but this is why we have elected them. Many a good law has begun with an informal conversation with a legislator. Speak your piece.
This is a fun time to be a football fan. The long college bowl game season is nearing its climax with the entertaining slate of New Year's Day games Tuesday, another big one on Thursday, and the anticipated national championship game next Monday. Likewise, the pro football playoffs are starting this weekend, promising almost a full month of mounting excitement.
To that end, here's a question: Who in the NFL is going to beat the Denver Broncos, the closest thing to a home team we've got in Wyoming?
Winners of 11 straight games heading into the playoffs, with a guaranteed home field advantage in every game until the Super Bowl, the answer is this: Only a very good team on a very good day. The Broncos are one tough outfit.
It took awhile, but winter weather -- real winter weather -- finally has arrived to stay awhile. We'll all bundle up and shiver through it with an eager eye toward spring. But we can also be thankful that winter waited until the last week of the year to ring the doorbell. We all can remember many a season when that call came at least a month earlier.
Help for Newtown
Remember, there's still time to join the Fremont County relief effort for Newtown, Conn., site of the terrible massacre of first-grade children and school faculty. Accounts for financial contributions have been established at Central Bank and Trust branches in both Riverton and Lander by an anonymous organizer. It's our chance to help before Jan. 4, when any money collected will be gathered up and sent to Newtown.
Here's to a good week, and a good year.
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